Madison County Sheriff’s Office says inmate who died had a pre-existing condition

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala - The Madison County Criminal Investigation Division is currently investigating an inmate death that occurred Friday night. The 46-year-old inmate, David Cooper, died at Huntsville Hospital Friday night. He was in jail for a 3rd-degree domestic violence charge, which is a misdemeanor.

Cooper was first arrested by Huntsville Police in 2017, according to Lieutenant Donny Shaw. He was then placed in the Madison County Jail. Shaw says he had a preexisting medical condition and was kept in the medical unit.

"2018 he became very sick and was taken to Huntsville Hospital and there was a hearing for him in courts that asked for a medical furlough so that he could be treated and get well. And at the time, he was released from the hospital. He was to report back to the jail," he said.

Shaw says he reported back to the jail in August or September of 2018 and was again place in the medical unit.

"There are medical personnel, nurses LPNs, and other personnel. That staff and of course there's a supplement of detention officers that watch over the unit," he explained.

He says Friday night Cooper was found unresponsive during a routine check.

"And immediately sent to the Huntsville Hospital where he later passed away," Shaw said.

He says it's too early to tell if his death was related to his preexisting condition. Cooper's remains have been sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy. Shaw says due to HIPAA laws he cannot say what the inmate's preexisting medical condition was. If the autopsy shows Cooper died as a result of that condition, they should be able to release that information at that time.

It could take a few weeks for those autopsy results to be released.

This marks the third inmate death that has occurred at the Madison County Jail since 2014. One inmate died in 2017 and another died 2015. There are currently 968 inmates being housed at the jail.